Reminders & Things I Wanted to Share


  1. Publish your HemingWords (Six Word Story) blog assignment by 12 noon on Tuesday (October 14). This should be published on your blog and include the appropriate tags and categories. See PolyLearn for the details of the assignment.
  2. Submit your MessageWorks PDF by 12 noon on Tuesday (October 14). This should be submitted as an assignment via PolyLearn; sending it via email is not an acceptable way to submit this assignment, as indicated in the syllabus. Make sure you edit the name of the PDF so that it includes your name (e.g.: Brandon Message.pdf). See PolyLearn for the details of the assignment.
  3. Read the Michael Gurstein article, “What is Community Informatics“. I posted the PDF to the Week 3 section of PolyLearn. This article will be at the crux of our discussion on Tuesday.
  4. Remember the Twitterature Review assignment is not due until Tuesday, October 21 (twelve days from now).

Other things I wanted to share

Topic vs. Message vs. Slogan

While completing the MessageWorks tool, I noticed confusion in the message and realized there should be three terms that we use in constructing our campaign: TOPIC, MESSAGE, and SLOGAN.

  • Topic: This is the area of interest you are focusing on. Example of a topic: Drunk Driving
  • Message: Drunk Driving is a problem that affects Americans over the age of 21. It is estimated that [some statistic] of Americans will drive while intoxicated. Further, [some statistic] of drunk drivers will either injure or kill themselves, a passenger, or a pedestrian as a result of drunk driving. You should not drive drunk.
  • Slogan: Don’t drink and drive!

Hopefully the tool has helped you refine your message based on its recommendations. We ultimately want to develop our slogan, which we have been calling ‘our message’ until now. Our slogan is the phrase that we will share; it should be sticky, memorable, and short, like “Got milk” or “Don’t drink and drive” or “Stress less; do more.”

If you can narrow your slogan down to a few words, then GREAT! But above all, make sure it is less than 140 characters (space and punctuation included); that will make it Twitter- and text-friendly, which allows additional channels for communicating your slogan and, by extension, your ultimate message, to whomever your target audience is.

Target Audience

Your target audience is who YOU want to target with your message. While a drunk driving slogan would be useful for all American adults who are over 21, that is a very broad target audience that will likely be difficult to reach with one message due to many differences based on age, gender, culture, region, etc. Instead, narrow your focus to something more specific and, ideally, something more local.

For example, my target audience for a drunk driving slogan is Cal Poly seniors, since they are the students who are 21+ and who can legally drink. Therefore, they are more likely to drive to and from bars (whereas I hypothesize that underage drinkers are doing it in their dorm/apartment, or somewhere else in walking distance).

Now that I have defined MY target audience as being Cal Poly seniors, I can find demographical data to define them. The university can likely provide statistics about race/ethnicity and what percentage of seniors identify as female. Those statistics are what I will enter into the MessageWorks tool; I will NOT enter the statistics for all American adults over the age of 21.

You may have to do some detective work; a student who is targeting expecting parents may find it most efficient to focus solely on pregnant women instead of men and women; our goal is to be efficient with our message, which means targeting the population that will result in the most impact and KASA change, as we discussed in Week 2. Now that the student knows he or she is targeting pregnant women, a possible avenue to explore for statistics or ideas may be WIC (Woman-Infant-Children) of SLO County, or Planned Parenthood, or a OBGYN, etc., if the internet isn’t turning up the statistics or information needed. This could also create a partnership for disseminating your information and slogan/message.

Please feel free to contact me if you need help with your MessageWorks, have any questions about the assignments, or otherwise feel stuck. I am happy to help!


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